The following article has been submitted by members of The Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club.
This year, when people craved an outdoor experience, many found their way to the Bruce Trail.
The Bruce Trail is managed by the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC). The trail is over 50 years old thanks to the foresight of an original group of volunteers who took the idea of a public footpath and transformed it into a 900-km ribbon of wilderness along the Niagara Escarpment, through the acquisition of land and the creation of nature reserves.
We are privileged to have a section of this magnificent hiking trail that stretches from Niagara to Tobermory at our doorstep in the Georgian Triangle.
The Bruce Trail Conservancy is a member-driven, volunteer-based charitable organization committed to caring for the Bruce Trail and to preserving land along its route.
The BTC head office is located in Dundas, Ontario. The BTC is funded primarily by donations over $6.5 million annually. The donors include individuals, foundations, corporations, bequests, clubs, land donations and less than one per cent from the government.
Thousands of volunteers work together every day to plan, build, steward and promote the Trail, and its 400 side trails. The Blue Mountains Bruce Trail Club is one of nine clubs along the trail. Our club has over 600 members and consists of 66 km of main trail running from Lavender to Swiss Meadows. There are over 30 km of side trails in our section too.
The Bruce Trail is not permanently secure and roughly 31 per cent of the Bruce Trail corridor is still vulnerable to development. Some sections of the trail are on land owned by the Conservancy, land purchased through fundraising and land generously donated. In other sections, landowners have kindly permitted the trail to cross their property.
There are easy, moderate and challenging sections of the trail, making the hiking experience accessible to many. You can go for a gentle walk to enjoy the spring flowers or a strenuous hike, climbing the Escarpment from bottom to top to get your heart pumping.
To help guide your way, there is the Bruce Trail Reference Guide. This guide contains route maps, including side trails, information about history, accessing trails, local flora and fauna, and parking options. Edition 30 of the guide is now available for purchase online at brucetrail.org.
Joining a group is a fantastic way to participate in a hike led by an experienced, certified hike leader. Currently, our organized hikes are offered to members only, due to limitations on group size. Carpooling is not an option at this time and this puts pressure on the available parking.
Thanks to the ongoing support of BTC members, each membership helps us to fulfil our mission, and provide safe, environmentally-responsible, public access to the Niagara Escarpment for generations to come. Membership is $50 annually for a household, and there are many benefits to joining this hiking community.
To join, visit brucetrail.org.
See you on the trail!
Hike suggestion: Pretty River Provincial Park is a day-use park that has Bruce Trail main and side trails within park boundaries. It is accessible from Nottawasaga Sideroad 30/31 or 6th Sideroad via Gibraltar, both access points offer small parking areas.